Time Out Chicago Bar Awards Names This as Chicago’s #1 Bar

Bar industry experts curated by Time Out Chicago have chosen the best bars in Chicago – and there are definitely some to add to your Chicago summer bucket list.  

This June, we got together in the west loop at The Herbarium (right next to Au Cheval – I’m still digesting that burger). After tasting inventive cocktails from William Grant & Sons, which were notable next to individual sized bottles of Rose with cones on them. It seriously felt like a summer spin New Year’s Eve.

Time Out Chicago’s editor, Morgan Olsen announced the winners for Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018, who were ranked and profiled by an industry-renowned panel of high-profile drinks experts and top bartenders. The panel included Julia Momose, beverage director at Oriole; James Beard Award-winning sommelier Belinda Chang; Benjamin Schiller, beverage director at The Fifty/50 Group;  Hendrick’s Gin Ambassador Mattias Horseman; Monkey Shoulder Ambassador Vance Henderson; and , the Olsen, herself.

The full list of Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018 winners:

Guests enjoyed craft cocktails. Photo: Time Out Chicago

Guests enjoyed craft cocktails. Photo: Time Out Chicago

  • Bar of the Year presented by Hendrick’s Gin: Lost Lake

Guys! I haven’t been here. I was excited about this bar back in 2015 when it opened. For about a year and a half I was following Logan Square’s bar and restaurant scene as a new business writer (shout out to JAM for the best brunch of my life), but I transitioned out and sadly haven’t really explored Logan Square that much besides the occasional PBR, Jamison shot, and pizza special at Boiler Room. If you make a bar crawl out of Lost Lake, I would also add the vintage sports club and eatery, Park & Field to your list of summer time bars – it gave me Cali vibes in their patio with the fire pit and summer games 🙂

Green Mill is a staple. I use to go every Friday night with visitors from Hi USA Hostel. I personally love it for a date night on Sunday with the poetry slam.

Maple & Ash recently got on my radar. It’s always a popular spot – even when I pass through it in the Gold Coast on a Tuesday.

  • Sexiest Cocktail: Spanish-Style Gin and Tonic at Cindy’s

Cindy’s is the best – actually all of Chicago Athletic Club is because it’s versatile for a girl’s night, book club hangout, or a sexy date night. I think I visit Cindy’s the most often. Need to add this cocktail to my list, though 🙂

Photo: Time Out Chicago

Time Out Chicago Bar Awards 2018 panelists

  • Mattias Horseman
  • Vance Henderson
  • Ed Marszewski
  • Julia Momose
  • Danny Shapiro
  • Calvin Martin
  • Christopher Marty
  • Benjamin Schiller
  • Brenton Engel
  • Paul Hletko
  • Caitlin Laman
  • Nandini Khaund
  • Belinda Chang
  • Morgan Olsen
  • Zach Long
Photo: Time Out Chicago

Celebratory hugs all around for the best bars in Chicago for 2018. Photo: Time Out Chicago

Amanda Elliott is a writer and speaker and a relationship builder. She believes that meeting people in person is important. After attending numerous fashion, startup, and creative events, she founded Windy City Cosmo is 2015 to help people make connections in the city as they build their businesses, start and end relationships and see and be seen. Over the past three years, the entrepreneurs she’s interviewed have become the most successful in Chicago and Windy City Cosmo won an award in 2017 for her work for female entrepreneurs.


Tortoise Supper Club Creates Cocktail For a Cause This April
River North Restaurant & Lounge Raising The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago During the Month of April 2017.

What if you could make the world a better place just by heading to a bar and ordering a drink?  Well, it’s a start.

Chicago’s Tortoise Supper Club (350 North State St. in Chicago, IL.  ) is helping diners do just that through their Cocktails for a Cause program.  Every month the metropolitan supper club, known for its steaks, chops and fresh seafood, partners with a Chicago non-profit to help raise awareness and funds for that organization.  The River North restaurant creates an original limited edition cocktail and donates $3 of every one sold to that month’s non-profit partner.

In April, Tortoise Supper Club is working to support The Angel Harvey Family Health Center – Infant Welfare Society of Chicago, a community health center that serves more than 13,000 patients from the city’s most vulnerable and medically underserved populations.  In honor of their April partnership, the team at TSC created Angel’s Elixir, a modern twist on the popular Brazilian Batida cocktail. This beverage combines Cachaça, Fresh Lime Juice and a housemade Strawberry Shrub (strawberry, apple cider vinegar and a touch of black pepper) to create a refreshing drink. The Angel’s Elixir is finished off with a sprig of aromatic Rosemary and some Candied Strawberry.

The Angel’s Elixir cocktail will be available through April 30th; $3 from every one sold will go directly to IWS.

Weekly Specials:

Weekly specials include Half Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays, Sautéed Frog Legs and Buttermilk Battered Cod on Fridays, Northwoods Dry Rubbed Prime Rib on Saturdays and $1 Oysters / $1 Shrimp Cocktail from 4:30 – 6:30 pm on weekdays.

Happy Hour Cocktails:

Tortoise Supper Club does an awesome Happy Hour that includes $1 Oysters and $1 Shrimp Cocktail MondayFriday from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.  They also offer Half-Priced Signature Cocktails on Wednesdays from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm.
Live Sinatra-style jazz music is played in the lounge every Friday and Saturday night.

How to be the Perfect Host “Kocktails With Khloè” Style

I’m going to talk about it because nobody else is. And that’s probably why it was cancelled after one season.

Do you need a drink?

Is your dress see-through?

Then, you are the perfect guest for Khloè’s spin on talk shows, Kocktails with Khloè.

The show taught me many things, but the main thing was that drink and game nights are the only real way to get to know someone.

After watching several episodes of Kocktails with Khloè, I have learned How to Host a Dinner Party:

Talk Up Your Party:

I think Khloè did an awesome job of promoting her show. She wore the perfect outfits. She had the sympathy card with her estranged husband’s health, so her talking about that and her book and her housewarming show really gave it the personal touch.

Having several things going on that people can ask you surface level questions about it is a perfect recipe for a cocktail party.

Wear Something  That People Will Talk About:

My favorite part of the show was Khloè Kardashian’s outfits. She really puts on the cocktail dress with the low v-neck.  I think this show did wonders for her style and for expressing her individuality.

Plus people like to get dressed up. When you dress the part, it makes your event more important.

Hire a Hot Bartender to Help Co-Host:

While every Kardashian wants attention, it’s important to add a dynamic and some eye candy.

Like every good host, Khloè has a hot bartender who makes the specialty cocktails of the night. Her guests are kind enough to bring homemade food or whatever brand of alcohol the rapper is promoting.

Know When to Leave:

You don’t need the hint or someone to call you an Uber home. Just know when to shut a party down and when to leave.

The show tried too hard at times, with appearances from family guests and friends, but I think it really was a great concept.

If anything,  Kocktails with Khloè made me want to get a big house to host Cocktails with Windy City Cosmo.

And like every good cocktail party, Khloè got people together to have a few drinks, talk about ridiculous things and most importantly give them fodder for their Instagram feeds.

Cheers, Khloè. Thanks for the Kocktails.